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08.13.19

Links 13/8/2019: KDevelop 5.4.1 and DragonFly 5.6.2 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Addressing Typography Issues in the new User Interface

        We tackled typography issues after receiving feedback from multiple users.

      • [Update: Arriving] Chromebook Pixel 2015, 8 more Chrome OS devices to get Linux apps support soon

        The ability to run Linux apps has opened the door for Chromebooks to become more than just a glorified web browser, but an actual workstation. Many older devices, however, were unable to get Linux apps support, due to not having the necessary hardware. Other Chromebooks were held back because their underlying Linux kernel for Chrome OS was much older and thus didn’t have everything necessary to integrate Linux apps properly.

        A handful of devices from 2015, including that year’s Chromebook Pixel, were stuck in an awkward place, being too outdated for Linux apps to be easily possible and being too new to be ignored completely. Last August, the Chromium team said that the fate of these devices was still “undecided,” which is why they’re not explicitly mentioned in Chromium documentation.

        In the intervening months, Google has been hard at work on a project called “kernelnext,” which seems poised to update the Linux kernel of certain devices, starting with the 2015 Chromebook Pixel (aka Samus), from version 3.14 to 4.14. There are actually eight other Chrome OS devices built on the same Broadwell generation Intel processors found in the 2015 Chromebook Pixel, all of which are also being tested with “kernelnext.”

    • Server

      • Apache Hive vs. Apache HBase: Which is the query performance champion?

        It’s super easy to get lost in the world of big data technologies. There are so many of them that it seems a day never passes without the advent of a new one. Still, such fast development is only half the trouble. The real problem is that it’s difficult to understand the functionality and the intended use of the existing technologies.

        To find out what technology suits their needs, IT managers often contrast them. We’ve also conducted an academic study to make a clear distinction between Apache Hive and Apache HBase—two important technologies that are frequently used in Hadoop implementation projects.

      • Geeking outside the office

        Sysadmins have plush, easy desk jobs, right? We sit in a nice climate-controlled office and type away in our terminals, never really forced to exert ourselves. At least, it might look that way. As I write this during a heat wave here in my hometown, I’m certainly grateful for my air-conditioned office.

        Being a sysadmin, though, carries a lot of stress that people don’t see. Most sysadmins have some level of on call. In some, places it’s a rotation. In others, it’s 24/7. That’s because some industries demand a quick response, and others maybe a little less. We’re also expected to know everything and solve problems quickly. I could write a whole separate article on how keeping calm in an emergency is a pillar of a good sysadmin.

        The point I’m trying to make is that we are, in fact, under a lot of pressure, and we need to keep it together. While in some cases profit margins are at stake, in other cases lives could be. Let’s face it, in this digital world almost everything depends on a sysadmin to keep the lights on. Maintaining all of this infrastructure pushes many sysadmins (and network admins, and especially information security professionals) to the brink of burnout.

        So, this article addresses how getting away from the day job can help you keep your sanity.

      • Rook v1.0 Adds Support for Ceph Nautilus, EdgeFS, and NFS Operator

        Rook, a storage orchestrator for Kubernetes, has released version 1.0 for production-ready workloads that use file, block, and object storage in containers. Highlights of Rook 1.0 include support for storage providers through operators like Ceph Nautilus, EdgeFS, and NFS. For instance, when a pod requests an NFS file system, Rook can provision it without any manual intervention.

        Rook was the first storage project accepted into the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), and it helps storage administrators to automate everyday tasks like provisioning, configuration, disaster recovery, deployment, and upgrading storage providers. Rook turns a distributed file system into storage services that scale and heal automatically by leveraging the Kubernetes features with the operator pattern. When administrators use Rook with a storage provider like Ceph, they only have to worry about declaring the desired state of the cluster and the operator will be responsible for setting up and configuring the storage layer in the cluster.

      • IBM

        • Red Hat technologies make open hybrid cloud a reality

          It’s important to make the distinction between open hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments. A hybrid cloud features coordination between the tasks running in the different environments. Multi-cloud, on the other hand, simply uses different clouds without coordinating or orchestrating tasks among them.

          Red Hat solutions are certified on all major cloud providers, including Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services, the Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. As you’re defining your hybrid cloud strategy, you can be confident that you won’t be going it alone as you work with a cloud provider. You won’t be the first person to try things on Cloud x; you’ll have the promise of a proven provider that works with your hybrid architecture.

        • Successful OpenShift 4.1 Disconnected install

          My new position has me working with Red Hat customers in the financial services industry. These customers have strict regulations for controlling access to machines. When it comes to installing OpenShift, we often are deploying into an environment that we call “Air Gapped.” What this means in practice is that all install media need to be present inside the data center, and cannot be fetched from online on demand. This approach is at odds with the conveniences of doing an on-demand repository pull of a container image. Most of the effort involves setting up intern registries and repositories, and getting X509 certificates properly created and deployed to make access to those repositories secure.

          The biggest things we learned is that automation counts. When you need to modify a file, take the time to automate how you modify it. That way, when you need to do it again (which you will) you don’t make a mistake in the modification. In our case, we were following a step-by-step document that got us about halfway through before we realized we made a mistake. Once we switched from manual edits to automated, we were far more likely to rollback to a VM snapshot and roll forward to make progress. At this point, things really started getting smoother.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 13×33
      • Xfce 4.14, FFmpeg, KDE Zero-Day, Linux Journal, NVidia, AMD, LibreOffice | This Week in Linux 78

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we got a lot of Big Releases from Xfce, FFmpeg and LibreOffice. Nvidia announced something we never expected them to, they have actually started releasing documentation related to their hardware. There were some reports for a Zero-Day Exploit concerning KDE so we’ll take a look at that. In Distro News, Voyager Linux released a new version and we got some interesting news from Ubuntu regarding their usage of ZFS. In the Sad News, The Linux Journal announced they will be shutting their doors again. Later in the show, we’ll check out the new operating system from Huawei, AMD Firmware Updates are rolling out for Linux support and we’ll take a look at an app to display your Android phone on your desktop, scrcpy. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

      • CodeGrades on Podcast.__init__

        CodeGrades was recently on the Podcast.__init__ show where we had lots of fun exploring the links between music and coding education as a way to explain the concepts behind CodeGrades.

      • GNR 87 – Lads on Tour [Ed: Fab from Linux Outlaws]
    • Kernel Space

      • Intel’s Linux Graphics Driver Developers Discover 3~20% Boost For Current-Gen Hardware

        Last week was the Intel Gallium driver one line patch to boost performance by 1%. Today’s code churn within Mesa for Intel’s open-source Linux graphics drivers were larger but also with a more profound performance impact with some workloads now being faster by around 20%. Making this more exciting is that today’s round of driver optimizations apply to the very common and mature “Gen 9″ graphics hardware.

      • Linux Finally Has A Fix For Crackling Audio Input On Recent AMD Systems

        Queued now for Linux 5.3 and also marked for back-porting to existing kernel stable series is a fix to address distorted and crackling analog audio input that has affected AMD systems for at least the past two years with certain Realtek audio codecs.

        Going back to at least early 2017 has been bug reports like this one making mention of “crackled” or otherwise distorted audio capturing on AMD systems. But it’s been largely a mystery up to now what’s been causing these problems under Linux with other common workarounds for audio troubles not working out.

      • Graphics Stack

        • TGSI To NIR Improvements Hit Mesa 19.2 For RadeonSI

          AMD Mesa lead developer Marek Olšák has landed a set of improvements to the TGSI-to-NIR pass today for Mesa 19.2 to enhance the RadeonSI driver’s support for using this intermediate representation.

          The “tgsi_to_nir” code for going from the traditional Gallium3D IR to the increasingly used “NIR” has seen support for more operations and also basic compute shader support is now in place. Marek landed these improvements over the course of several commits today for the still-open Mesa 19.2 code-base.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Total War: Shogun 2 – Fall of the Samurai is now a Total War Saga game, DLC free for existing owners

        Creative Assembly did a bit of a rebranding today, as Total War: Shogun 2 – Fall of the Samurai which was a standalone expansion for Total War: Shogun 2 has now become Total War Saga: FALL OF THE SAMURAI. Originally released in 2012, we were given a Linux port from Feral Interactive back in 2017.

        Writing about the news on the official Total War blog post, Creative Assembly mentioned that along with the title adjustment that existing owners will get every DLC (excluding the blood pack) as a free gift which is pretty darn nice of them.

      • G2A have extended the deadline for their proposed key-blocking tool, as more developers are unhappy with them

        Recently, after G2A appeared in the spotlight once again for being terrible, they offered to make a key-blocking tool for developers. This was offered after our recent article highlighting a bunch of problems, an article that’s worth a read as a little background on what’s going on.

        According to G2A, such a key-blocking tool would be “time-consuming and expensive”, which is completely ridiculous because it’s a pretty damn simple feature to make, with it comparing lists of keys against what users try to sell. Not just that, they also required at least 100 developers to sign up to it before they would do it which is also outrageous. They even gave a deadline of August 15th for developers to sign up.

        That deadline has now been extended until the end of August as only 19 developers signed up, how generous of them.

        Wube Software, developer of Factorio, actually took up G2A on their offer of paying developers back “10x the money proven to be lost on chargebacks”, as noted by Wube in one of their blog posts. That was posted on July 12th, noting that they last heard from G2A a few days before posting and G2A had their list of keys. As an update on that, it seems they’re still waiting. Surprised? Nope.

      • Putting a Linux game on Steam: Missing Executable – a common pitfall for game devs

        Since this comes up so often when testing games for developers and surprisingly often for newly released Linux games, I thought it might help to give developers a quick hint.

      • Goonies-inspired adventure Knights And Bikes releasing with Linux support on August 27th

        Developed by Foam Sword and publisher Double Fine Presents, the hand-painted action-adventure Knights And Bikes is releasing soon. Confirmed on Twitter by both the developer and publisher, the August 27th release will indeed come with Linux support on the same day.

        Featuring gameplay for 1-2 players, it takes place in the 1980s on a fictional British island called Penfurzy. You’ll be exploring on your customizable bikes while dealing with puzzles and enemies using improvised tools like frisbees, water-balloons, puddle-stomping welly boots, and a powerful boom-box stereo. Sounds like it could be pretty sweet!

      • Eliza, the new Visual Novel from Zachtronics is out now with Linux support

        Usually known for their excellent puzzle games, Zachtronics have released Eliza, a new and intriguing sounding Visual Novel.

      • Towertale, the fast-paced 2D boss battler now has a Linux version available

        With fast-paced 2D action, Towertale from MiSou Games arrives on Linux and not long after the original Windows version. If you’re wondering what a “boss battler” actually is, all the fights are against big beasts instead of you having to easily make your way through tons of low-level sword fodder.

        Towertale tells the story of a mysterious tower, created to by some sort of ancient being. If you manage to defeat the guardian on each level, you will be granted “the ultimate wish” or so the legend says anyway. Many have tried, just as many died.

      • The 2D racer Bloody Rally Show is coming along nicely and it’s good fun already

        Bloody Rally Show is an upcoming indie 2D racer from Game Hero Interactive, releasing either late this year or early next year it’s currently in Beta and it’s running well on Linux.

        It’s a game I briefly covered back in late March, I’ve not really followed it too closely until now. Recently though, the developer confirmed on Steam they will “never” release on the Epic Store, as well as the game being DRM-free on Steam as the Steam integration is going to be completely optional so you can copy it away from Steam and it will work fine.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • XFCE 4.14 Released. Here’s What’s New.

        As per the XFCE development roadmap, the major goal of XFCE 4.14 was to port all core modules and components to GTK3 from GTK2 and GDBus. Due to this migration, users can experience more faster and polished UI experience with XFCE 4.14.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDevelop 5.4.1 released

          We today provide a stabilization and bugfix release with version 5.4.1. This is a bugfix-only release, which introduces no new features and as such is a safe and recommended update for everyone currently using KDevelop 5.4.0.

          You can find the updated Linux AppImage as well as the source code archives on our download page.

    • Distributions

      • 6 Best Linux Distros for Beginners

        If you’re a programmer, server admin, or just someone who likes to have everything tailored to their needs, Linux-based operating systems are worth a try. With a powerful terminal, better security, and the freedom to modify your operating system; however, you want, users will find Linux to come in quite handy.

        Making the shift to Linux is not as complicated as some people make it out to be. There is a variety of Linux distributions available that cater to the needs of people who are planning on making the jump to Linux from any other operating system. However, it is also worth noting that there are some complex Linux distros out there like Arch Linux and Kali Linux, which newbies should refrain from installing as of today. Considering all this, FOSSLinux brings you the best Linux distros for beginners that will help you get started with Linux more straightforwardly.

      • Reviews

        • Linux Mint 19.2 Cinnamon vs Kubuntu 19.04 Review

          Linux Mint 19.2 Cinnamon still ships with ‘ureadahead’ daemon which as I’ve shown, has the capacity to significantly speed things up (again, it only works on rotational disks) when booting up, even though the memory usage is not as impressive compared to modern KDE desktops (that then again is not Cinnamon’s fault, because, that’s how it is with most GNOME 3 based distributions these days).

          If you’re not happy with the power usage, then install TLP, if the responsiveness is not impressive, try changing the I/O scheduler, and you’re good to go. It’s easy to use, quite stable and even though Cinnamon’s apps are forked from GNOME 3’s apps, due to its will to retain its own identity, nowadays, to a great extent, Cinnamon is its own thing. If interested in, download it from Mint’s official web page. Good luck and thank you for reading.

      • Fedora Family

        • NEST 2.18.0 (and 2.16.0) are ready for use on NeuroFedora

          After a bit of work and testing, NEST 2.18.0 and 2.16.0 are now both available for use on NeuroFedora.

        • Capture and playback UDP packets

          Generating some random statsd communication is easy, it’s text-based UDP protocol and all you need to have is netcat. However things change when statsd server is integrated with real application flodding it with thousands of packets of various attributes.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla VR Blog: Custom elements for the immersive web

            From the Mixed Reality team, we keep working on improving the content creator experience, building new frameworks, tools, APIs, performance tuning and so on.
            Most of these projects are based on the assumption that the users have a basic knowledge of 3D graphics and want to go deep on fully customizing their WebXR experience, (eg: using A-Frame or three.js).
            But there are still a lot of use cases where content creators just want very simple interactions and don’t have the knowledge or time to create and maintain a custom application built on top of a WebXR framework.

            With this project we aim to address the problems these content creators have by providing custom elements with simple, yet polished features. One could be just a simple 360 image or video viewer, another one could be a tour allowing the user to jump from one image to another.

          • Mozilla Reps Community: Reps OKRs for second half of 2019

            Here is the list of the OKRs (objective and Key Results) that the Reps Council has set for the second half of 2019

      • BSD

        • DragonFly 5.6.2 released

          Because of the recent tcp keepalive change and some other updates, DragonFly 5.6 has been updated to 5.6.2. See my release email, and update the normal way. You will need to update your installed dports.

        • DragonFlyBSD 5.6.2 Released With Disruptive Change To Help Chromium, Ported Apps

          DragonFlyBSD 5.6.2 is out today as the newest version of this popular BSD operating system.

          DragonFlyBSD 5.6.2 includes the usual minor bug fixes ranging from panics, deadlocks, and null pointer dereferences to more prominent fixes this round. The DragonFlyBSD AHCI driver now enforces a 10-second poll of the chipset, a quirk for the Corsair Strafe RGB keyboard, and other fixes.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • To equip tomorrow’s cybersecurity experts, we’ll need an open approach

          Today’s world—marked by an increase of Internet-connected devices, digital assets, and information systems infrastructure—demands more cybersecurity professionals. Cybersecurity is the practice of defending these devices, assets, and systems against malicious cyberattacks from both internal and external entities. Often these cyberattacks are linked to cybercrimes, or crimes committed using a computer to generate profit or to affect the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of the data or system. In 2016, cybercrimes cost the global economy more than $450 billion.

          [...]

          It’s critical for students to not only become acquainted with the advantages of open source software but also to develop strong skills working openly, since open source software is not only common in the IT industry in general, but is specifically necessary in the field of cybersecurity. With this approach, students can learn within the safety and guidance of the classroom while also naturally acquiring research and troubleshooting skills by facing challenges that are presented or arise during exercises.

        • Cloud-native Java, open source security, and more industry trends

          As part of my role as a senior product marketing manager at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends for product marketers, managers, and other influencers.

      • Programming/Development

        • Step-by-Step Execution and Examples

          Last week I finished writing all the new examples for the ROCS, together with a little description of each commented in the beginning of the code

        • Applying C – Deadline Scheduling

          For real time tasks FIFO scheduling is appropriate. However, if you are using a modern version of Linux there’s a better choice. Earliest Deadline Scheduling (EDS) is new recently introduced (Kernel 3.14) Linux scheduling policy. Due to its recent introduction and because it isn’t a POSIX scheduling method, it isn’t widely used, but it does have many good properties for realtime tasks.

          A SCHED_DEADLINE thread is associated with three parameters – runtime, period and deadline. The thread will receive runtime nanoseconds of execution every period nanoseconds and deadline specifies in nanoseconds how delayed into the period the allocation can be. If a thread takes longer than its runtime period the operating system suspends it and restarts it at its next activation period.

          It is also useful to know that in this case sched_yield suspends the thread until its next time period starts. This means you can give time back to the system if you have overestimated how long a task should take.

          Notice that times are specified in nano seconds (ns) but micro seconds (us) are more reasonable for describing how long a real world task is likely to take.

          For example, if runtime is 10 us, period 100 us and deadline 20 us you can be sure that the thread will get 10 us every 100us and the maximum delay from the start of the 100 us period is 20 us. If the thread is, say, setting a hardware line high at the start of the 10us and low at the end, the pulses will be 10us wide and repeat every 100us, but with a jitter of 20 us from the start of the 100us period, i.e. a pulse could be up to 20us late. This only works if the system isn’t overloaded and there are enough CPUs to satisfy all of the demands. As long as the system isn’t overloaded then the scheduling algorithm is proven to meet the specifications of period and deadline.

        • Building a non-breaking breakpoint for Python debugging

          This is the story of how our team at Rookout built non-breaking breakpoints for Python and some of the lessons we learned along the way. I’ll be presenting all about the nuts and bolts of debugging in Python at PyBay 2019 in San Francisco this month. Let’s dig in.

        • Excellent Free Books to Learn X86 Assembly

          An assembly language is a low-level programming language for a computer, or other programmable device. Assembly language is used by almost all modern desktop and laptop computers. It is as close to writing machine code without writing in pure hexadecimal. It is converted into executable machine code by a utility program referred to as an assembler.

        • A comprehensive guide to agile project management

          With a focus on continuous improvements, agile project management upends the traditional linear way of developing products and services. Increasingly, organizations are adopting agile project management because it utilizes a series of shorter development cycles to deliver features and improve continually. This management style allows for rapid development, continuous integration (CI), and continuous delivery (CD).

          Agile project management allows cross-functional teams to work on chunks of projects, solving problems and moving projects forward in shorter phases. This enables them to iterate more quickly and deliver more frequent updates.

          The agile methodology provides a higher level of quality improvements on an incremental basis instead of waiting to distribute finished projects. And agile project management works. For example, PWC reports agile projects are 28% more successful than traditional project methodologies.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Other voices: The transplant waiting list is where hope goes to die

        It’s illegal to pay for a human kidney, but it’s perfectly fine to beg for one. So if you’ve driven through Alabama, Indiana, South Carolina, Manhattan or Los Angeles recently, you may have seen billboards taken out by patients urging passers-by to part with their kidneys. Hundreds more patients seek living donors online; others search abroad (often with grim results).

        There just aren’t enough organs to go around. For every 1,000 Americans who pledge to donate their kidneys after death, only three die in a way that permits a transplant. That frees up about 14,000 kidneys a year — about one for every seven people on the 90,000-strong transplant waiting list. The longer they wait — five years, on average — the sicker they get. Every day, some 13 people die waiting.

        That’s why living donors are so important — and why donations should be encouraged rather than penalized.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Indian Counseling Company Files Criminal Complaint Against Blogger Who Informed It About A Sensitive Data Leak

        As Doe notes, it appears 1to1Help’s lawyers made a number of self-serving omissions when filing this complaint. First, they failed to point out the article had already been published, which would have allowed the court to review the content and see if it actually violated the law.

        Second, the lawyers claimed Doe’s site was “rogue,” due to it containing no contact information for Doe. They were either wrong or lying, as Doe’s site does contain a contact number and she is reachable via social media and other venues, having spent more than a decade covering security breaches.

        Finally, 1to1Help claimed in its filing that Doe tried to blackmail it by giving Anil Bisht deadlines to respond for comment before publication. That’s called journalism, not blackmail, and either its lawyers can’t comprehend that or willfully misportrayed this extremely common process to the court.

        The problem isn’t the person reporting the leak. The problem is the leak and the company that took its time responding to the problem and then decided to take legal action when the person reporting the leak refused to cover it up.

      • Platform9 Shares Best Practices for Kubernetes at Scale on Bare Metal, with RDBMS, and with Serverless Apps at Open Source Summit and Other Industry Events in August

        Platform9 (https://platform9.com/), the leader in SaaS-managed hybrid cloud, today announced it will present three sessions at Open Source Summit North America. The company is also sponsoring VMworld 2019 US, and will present at a live webinar from VMworld about Kubernetes and cloud native for Enterprise IT.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Judge won’t reconsider daily fines against Chelsea Manning for refusing to testify

        Chelsea Manning will not get a hearing to challenge steep daily penalties imposed for her refusal to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.

        In an order issued Monday, Judge Anthony J. Trenga in Alexandria federal court said there were no “reasonable grounds” to reconsider his decision to impose the fines, which started at $500 per day and have now risen to $1,000. Manning, 31, who was first jailed in March for refusing to testify, could be in jail for up to 18 months, and her attorneys estimate that the total cost will be close to half a million dollars.

        Her attorney Moira Meltzer-Cohen said Manning “expects to remain” in jail for about 400 more days. She added that while they are “evaluating our legal options . . . above all right now we are all working to strategize for her long-term health and welfare.”

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Trump Administration Slashes Endangered Species Act, Worsening Extinction Crisis

          It took just 30 minutes for Trump administration officials to announce dramatic steps to undermine more than 45 years of successful conservation policy under the Endangered Species Act.

          In an abbreviated half-hour press conference on Monday, August 12, officials from the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a series of new regulations critics say will put economic interests before species recovery and threaten the efficiency of all species protections.

          Tellingly, many of the regulatory changes appear to have been written specifically to cater to business interests. They will “provide regulatory assurances and protection for both endangered species and the businesses [emphasis added] who rely on the use of federal and private lands,” Karen Budd-Falen, Interior’s deputy solicitor for fish, wildlife and parks, said in her introduction to the press conference.

          Budd-Falen is a longstanding opponent of the Endangered Species Act and public lands, whose previous roles include advocating for private-property rights and serving as attorney for the notorious Cliven Bundy family.

          The rules also appear to be a sneak attack against federal-level protections. Margaret Everson, Fish and Wildlife’s principal director, said in her remarks that the regulations will “return management of recovered species to the states.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • CNN did not learn the lesson from the Manafort hoax 40 Rebuttals to CNN’s Bias on Assange

        Having worked as a diplomat at the Ecuadorian embassy in London for six out of the seven years that Julian Assange lived there as a political refugee, unlike others, I am privy to what actually happened there. I am alarmed by CNN’s June 15th 2019 story, alleging Assange turned the Ecuadorian embassy in London into a command post for election meddling.

        The story contains several substantive shortcomings and too many factual errors. I warned CNN about them when I was approached during their “investigation,” but none of my points were included in the article. It is clear that CNN was not looking for balance in their publication, choosing instead to make assertions without showing actual proof, and to use props such as irrelevant CCTV images, a sensationalist collage and a miniature image of unreadable documents to make it seem as though the story was based on evidence.

        CNN’s story is based on the wrong premise that publishing information about an election—in this case the 2016 US presidential election—constitutes interference. Nobody refutes the authenticity of the material and nobody claims that the information was not in the public interest.

      • Caroline Lucas and the unworkable madness of woke politics

        Have you had the call to join the Government of National Unity (GNU) yet? My mobile telephone has been playing up in recent days, which may explain why I have not – at the time of writing – received a summons from Heidi Allen or Dominic Grieve, both former Conservative MPs and the leaders of the audacious bid to unite Britain this autumn. They plan to achieve this by sacking Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, setting aside the result of the 2016 referendum, and establishing a cross party administration to halt Brexit. What could possibly go wrong?

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • If You Lament The State Of Politics Today, Lament The Loss Of Aereo

        Disclaimer: I did a teeny bit of legal work on a teeny part of Aereo’s defense against the litigation onslaught seeking to obliterate it. But that’s not why I think the Supreme Court’s decision enabling that obliteration was terrible. On the contrary, it’s why I wanted to work on the defense at all, because it was always apparent that trying to use copyright to crush Aereo was a terrible idea that would have terrible consequences. And time has, of course, born this prediction out.

        It had never made sense why all these TV stations would be suing Aereo in the first place. After all, isn’t the thing that TV stations always want a larger viewership? With a larger viewership they can charge more for ads and make more money. So a service that helps them get that larger viewership (and at no cost to themselves) seems like something they should actually be glad to have. In any case, it was certainly quite odd to see them resent something that helped connect them with bigger audiences beyond what their broadcast signal could manage.

        And it made even less sense for a public television station like WNET to be part of any of these lawsuits. Commercial profit was never supposed to be its goal. Instead, pledge drive after pledge drive has always begged the public for the funds necessary to show its programming. Yet there it was, now trying to eradicate a service that helped people actually watch that programming. Which necessarily prompts the question of why anyone should ever bother to give money to WNET ever again if it was so bound and determined to limit the number of people who could benefit from it.

      • Ex-Googler Recently Held Up As A ‘Whistleblower’ And ‘Proof’ Of Anti-Conservative Bias At Google, Actually Supported Richard Spencer, Racist Skinheads

        When we recently wrote about the myth of anti-conservative bias at the various internet platforms, we got a lot of angry responses from people who insist (very loudly, often with lots of insults and anger, but rarely with any facts or data) that we’re full of shit. We’d be open to believing it if there was any actual support for these claims. But none is ever forthcoming. Indeed, amusingly, some people pointed out that a recent WSJ article about an alleged fired “conservative” engineer at Google, described as a “whistleblower,” was more “proof” that the company has it in for conservatives. Tucker Carlson even had the engineer, Kevin Cernekee, on his show last week to continue to feed the narrative.

        And, of course, other Fox News characters, such as Lou Dobbs, played up Cernekee’s claims as well, which even got President Trump to retweet Dobb’s segment about Cernekee as “proof” that Google is trying to influence the 2020 election.

        However, as we’ve pointed out concerning most of the “conservatives” who have had content removed or been banned from social media platforms (as is true in similar situations with liberals and other non-conservatives) there is almost always more to the story — and that “more” is often that these people are not banned or fired or otherwise held back because of their general political views, but because of something much worse. And, in the case of Cernekee, people finally realized that maybe it wasn’t that he was a conservative, but that he wanted to fundraise in support of one of the US’s most well known white supremacists, Richard Spencer.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Emails From License Plate Reader Company Hack Show Lobbyists Writing Legislation And Handing Out Talking Points To Congressional Reps

        There’s no element of surprise here. There will be no gasps of disbelief. About the only thing we can do is shake our heads at how willingly our public representatives will follow stage direction from corporations, especially when the talking points are in the interest of subjecting more people — many of them US citizens — to more surveillance.

        It’s amusing when a social media influencer accidentally posts some paid content from a sponsor/advertiser without changing a single word of the sales pitch. It’s not nearly as funny when a Congressional rep reads directly from a company’s email, demanding to know whether or not the CBP would be spending more LPR money in the near future.

        Ultimately, this didn’t work out for Perceptics. Not because Congressional reps decided they wouldn’t be unofficial spokespeople for a number of corporate interests. The only reason Perceptics was dumped by the CBP was because it couldn’t keep its information secure — information that included its pointed conversations with legislators.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Jeffrey Epstein’s Uniquely American Death In Jail

        The United States holds more of its population in prisons and jails than any other country in the world. Suicide is one of the biggest causes of death in U.S. jails and hit a high of 50 deaths for every 100,000 inmates in 2014.

        That makes the death of Jeffrey Epstein, who was involved in a sex trafficking ring, a uniquely American death, especially if investigators confirm he committed suicide.

        A day after Epstein was found dead, the New York Times spoke with an unnamed “law enforcement official with knowledge of his detention.” The official claimed Epstein was “supposed to have been checked by the two guards in the protective housing unit every 30 minutes, but that procedure was not followed” on August 9.

        The Times cited additional unnamed officials, who suggested “because Mr. Epstein may have tried to commit suicide three weeks earlier, he was supposed to have had another inmate in his cell.”

        “But the jail had recently transferred his cellmate and allowed Mr. Epstein to be housed alone, a decision that also violated the jail’s procedures,” according to two officials.

        The Associated Press reported that guards in the Metropolitan Correctional Center’s Special Housing Unit, where Epstein was confined, was staffed with “one guard working a fifth straight day of overtime and another who was working mandatory overtime.” The information was attributed to an unnamed person “familiar with the jail’s operations.”

    • Monopolies

      • Gridlock Economy: How Too Much Ownership Wrecks Markets, Stops Innovation, and Costs Lives (Introduction)

        Twenty-five new runways would eliminate most air travel delays in America; fifty patent owners are blocking a major drug company from creating a cancer cure; 90 percent of our broadcast spectrum sits idle while American cell phone service suffers. These problems have solutions that can jump-start innovation and help save our troubled economy. So, what’s holding us back?

      • Ownership of University Intellectual Property

        Every university needs a comprehensive set of written policies communicating the development of intellectual property resources in the context of its educational and research mission. Patent policies, copyright and trademark management, ownership guidelines, usage policies, and many other issues need to be carefully developed by each school.

        These policies are not the same among the various forms of intellectual property and need to specify those rights assigned to the university and those rights retained by the student with specificity and detail. And even this is not enough. Students are often employees, a status that has a very different legal and contractual right under the university policies. Some students are also instructors and researchers. Similarly, faculty status does not convey the same rights for all individuals, so the policies must capture the distinctions between full-time faculty, visitors, adjuncts and those with other status.

        By using the legal and business guidelines in copyright, patent, and other laws more carefully, schools can begin to tailor a usage and implementation policy that meets the educational and pedagogical goals of the classroom and research. Because the goals of academic instruction vary from school to school and even from class to class, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, the law provides a framework against which an academically sound policy can be developed.
        This article highlights the role of copyright, patent, publicity rights, and trademark as they impact the teacher, researcher, student employee, student entrepreneur, and student athlete. It provides a framework for universities and their stakeholders to better understand the rights and responsibilities they have to each other regarding intellectual property rights and how best to draft policies and agreements within the context of those responsibilities.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • How Patents Really Work in the Innovation Economy [Ed: The Globe and Mail lets a patent lawyer 'lecture' us on 'innovation' (not)]

          Dealing strictly on the issue of patents, the concern is that non-practising entities (NPEs) are corrupting the patent system. An NPE is an entity that holds a patent for a product or process but has no intention to develop it. Under that definition, any Canadian university that holds patents is an NPE, just as Ottawa’s WiLAN – one of the world’s top patent licensing companies that has licensing agreements with more than 320 of the world’s largest technology companies worth more than $900-million – is also considered an NPE.

          One recent article in The Globe and Mail suggests that NPEs target the “patents” of practising entities. When an NPE asserts its patent(s) against a practising entity, the NPE is targeting the activity of the practising entity – not its “patents.” Generally, most NPEs, including universities, are seeking fair and reasonable compensation for their patent(s) through a licence. Aggressive NPEs that have been called “patent trolls” typically target larger companies and often assert portfolios of defunct small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the benefit of those who initially invested in them. Some NPEs also enable SMEs to leverage their patent assets or keep larger companies from infringing on the technologies of these smaller companies. While NPEs should be regulated to ensure ethical business practices are upheld, they are an important market force.

          The concern that patent trolls are targeting Canadian startups is also unfounded. Patent trolls aren’t concerned with prerevenue or low-revenue-generating startups. However, profitable Canadian SMEs (that is, not startups) operating in the United States are being targeted by U.S. patent holders.

        • Cancer Doctors are Calling for a Permanent Fix to Drug Shortages in Canada

          Cancer specialists are concerned national shortages of three vital cancer drugs could lead to a time when they could run out of treatment options for patients in Canada.

          The three drugs are all injected into patients’ veins.

          The federal government’s drug shortage reporting website lists all three as experiencing national shortages, meaning the scarcity problem could affect patients throughout the country.

          At hospitals in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, oncologists, pharmacists and nurses have all scrambled to find alternatives, make substitutions and share precious vials.

          “My point in raising this publicly is not to alarm patients,” Dr. Gerald Batist, director of the Segal Cancer Centre at Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital.

          “But to start to bring this into the public discourse so that we have some pressure on our government and on drug producers to find a solution to this.

        • IBM Files Patent for a Blockchain-Based Web Browser

          A new patent application from IBM describes a blockchain-based web browser.

          Published on August 6 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, IBM’s patent is for a web browser backed by a peer-to-peer network.

          The browser collects pre-specified information from web browsing sessions, according to the patent. The information is then transferred to a network of peer-to-peer nodes for collection and storage. Information collection depends on the type of browsing experience chosen. Browsing on a work computer versus a personal browser would demand different settings, for example.

      • Trademarks

        • DC Opposes Trademark Application For ‘Algorithmic Justice League’ For Some Reason

          DC Comics, the company behind some of our most beloved superheroes, has built a reputation for itself for playing the supervillain when it comes to intellectual property disputes. Chiefly at issue tends to be trademark law, which DC views as some kind of overarching right for it to not allow any other entity to hold a trademark that even remotely overlaps with its own established marks. DC has taken this to absurd levels, opposing trademark applications that couldn’t possibly be confused with its own properties, even as many of its marks are very, very well known.

          This continues to the present. Most recently, DC has decided to oppose the trademark application for a group founded by MIT’s Joy Buolamwini to spotlight the negative consequences of certain technologies, which she dubbed The Algorithmic Justice League.

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